Thursday, March 30, 2006

Sloka 13 and 14


ruupaadimaanyataH piNDastato naatmaa ghaTaadivat.h .viyadaadimahaabhuutavikaaratvaachcha kumbhavat.h .. 13..

Pada artha:
Pindaha: the gross body
Na: is notAatma: the Self
Yataha: as it is
Roopa-aadi-maan: possesed of colors etc.
Ghata aadivaat: like jars and other things
Cha: and also
Viyat-aadi-mahaabhootavikaaratvaat: because it is a modification of the ether etc., the great elements
Kumbhavat: like the pitcher

The gross body is not the Self, because it is possessed of form etc. like jars and other things and also because it is modification of the ether and other great elements like a pitcher

The guru from this sloka starts negating each of the bodies as Atman. In this world the gross body or the physical body is usually misunderstood as Self. It is our common experience that misery and happiness is attached to the comforts and well being of the body, to such a extent that one may feel proud or sad imagining the ‘beauty’ of the body and happiness is assumed only when the desires of the body are satisfied. But it is also our experience that the happiness arising from the body is temporary and will always lead to misery alone. There may be someone better looking or someone more comfortable or the needs keep on increasing, in some way other, the ego associated with the body always beings miseries. Hence the wise ones always know the ever blissful Self as different from the body and strive for the conviction of the illusory nature of the physical body. Hence it is very important for a seeker to overcome the identification with the body.

The Guru is here instructing the disciple to know the body as Anatman, i.e non atman. That which is different from the ever existent, ever blissful atman can be unreal only. The physical body is born, undergoes changes, is affected by diseases and will eventually perish too. Hence happiness arising from the body will also eventually perish. Instead of conceptualizing Self as body, the guru is here asking the student to know the true nature of Self. Self is unlimited as it is verily bliss and hence is devoid of any forms. It is ever existent and hence pervades all and cannot be classified only as a component, where as the body just like any object like an earthen pitcher or jar is limited by space and is made up of the five elements. The Self is the supreme cause of the world and hence can never be said to be made up of the five elements. The teacher after thus proving the illusory nature of the body instructs the student to give up the ego of the body as the Self.


anaatmaa yadi piNDo.ayamuktahetubalaanmataH .
karaamalakavatsaakShaadaatmaanaM pratipaadaya .. 14..

Pada artha:
Yadi: if
Ayam: this
Pindaha: gross body
Mataha: is accepted
Anatmaa: as not to be the Self
Ulta-hetu-balaat: on the strength of these arguments
Pratipaadaya: please demonstrate
Atman: the Self
Sakshaat: directly
Kara-aamalakavat: like an embolic myrobalan fruit placed on the palm of your hand

If on the strength of these arguments the body is accepted to be the Non-Self, please demonstrate directly the Self like an emblic fruit placed on the palm of one’s hand.

In the previous sloka, the guru mentions the impermanent nature of the body and explains to the disciple that the body can never be the Self. The student is here asking the guru to demonstrate this, as clearly as a berry in one’s palm.
It is very hard to overcome the ego of the body and to realize the body as different from the Self. Hence the student here is asking for the teacher to demonstrate how the body is different as per his arguments in the previous sloka. Sometimes logic is very necessary to convenience the mind. It is the nature of the mind to doubt and reason, Hence logic is also assorted to by our Acharyas to impart strong conviction about the reality.
Here the student, still unconvinced of the nature of the body is asking the guru to demonstrate the argument. The knowledge when clear will be as clear as a berry on one’s palm, just as the berry, so clearly visible and recognized and can never be mistaken, the knowledge of the Self also has to be so clear.

We encounter this term in many of the works of the Vedanta. Very clear and strong conviction is represented by Hastamalaka (berry on the palm) or karaamalaka. Just to note, we can recall the famous incident in Acharya Sankara’s life where a poor woman offers him a berry after which there was a rain of golden berries and also that one of the main disciples of Acharya was Hastamalaka (meaning one whose conviction is as clear as a berry on the palm.) who authored Hastamalakeeya. A seeker must strive for such strong conviction such as a berry in one’s palm cannot be taken as anything other than a berry, the holder is so sure of its nature. Such must be the conviction about the reality.
The teacher next replies to the student by resorting to logic and experience. Let us learn in the next sloka how the Guru answers to the student.
In the previous sloka, the disciple asks the guru to demonstrate how the body is not the Self, In this sloka, the guru concludes his argument by explaining the witness hood nature of the Atman.

Hari OM

With regards,
Mallika R
What you have is God's gift to you and what you do with what you have is your gift to God


Blogger vedanta said...

For Sloka 14:


Prostrations to all.

Vidyaranya too uses karaamalaka in panchadashi, first chapter itself --

vakyam aprathibaddham sat praak paroksha avabhaasithe
Karaamalakavad bodham aparoksham prasooyathe

That reality through mahavakya which is without any obstacles shines initially through indirect knowledge & through direct experience, it shines as a fruit in one's hand.

Explanation about the analogy has already been described well in detail by Mallika.

Prostrations to all.


Let a moment not pass by without remembering God

8:19 PM  

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